tv My Own Words CSPAN September 18, 2016 6:45am-8:01am EDT
>> i also want to thank so much james williams, who is a former member of our board of directors. jim veil los angeles our vp for programming, and eileen reed our executive directyear for all of the work they put into this event and they deserve a round of applause. [applause] >> , with that i want to turn things over to james and he will do the introductions. thank you. >> thank you for those very kind words. it's a tremendous honor to be here today to introduce our guests, and it's always difficult when we have guests of this caliber to find the right superlatives and adjectives and terms to describe them. a few come to mind. titans, dedicated, principled, dynamic, engaging, brilliant,
thought leaders, and pioneers. what has been most personally inspiring for me has been the role also civil rights leaders, whether it's the fight for racial or gender equality or marriage equality or freedom from discrimination based on sexual ore general addition or gender identification, both have ensured that across all the fronts our country continues to honor its promise, equal justice for all. justice ginsburg was nominated by president clinton as an associate justice of the supreme court, taking her cincinnati 1993. prior to her appointment to the supreme court, she served from 1980 to 1983 on the bench of the united states court of appeals for the district columbia court. she was professor of law a at rutgers and columbia law school. she is also served on the fact
can i of the seminar at american studies and the as spend institute for humanistic studies and is a visiting professor at many universities in the united states and abroad. in 1978 she was a fellow at ther in for advanced study and behavioral sciences in stanford; so her commitment to civil rights and gender eve quality, goes back for men decades. lastly but not leastly, she definitely has the distinction of having the best nick name in the history of any supreme court justice. the know towerol rbg. -- notorious rbg. ted olson is a partner in washington's d.c. office. ted was solicitor general of the united states during 2001 to 2004. from 1981 to 1984, he was assistant attorney general in charge of the office of legal counsel in the u.s. department
of justice. he has argued 62 cases before the supreme court, and has prevailed in over 75%. let me say that again. 75% of those arguments. remarkable achievement. his cases have involved separation of powers, federalism, voting rights, the first amendment, equal protection and due process clauses, sentencing, jury rights, punitive damages, takings of property, the commerce clause, telecommunications, the 2000 presidential election. think we remember that one. bush versus for. campaign finance. mcconnell vs. mcc and citizens united. same-sex marriage, again, a civil rights pioneer. and other federal constitutional and statutory questions. i'm grateful for all they've done. at the end of the chat, justice ginsburg and ted will take a few questions from the audience and we'll have a chance to interact. without further adieu, justice
right ginsburg and ted olson. [applause] >> thank you, james, thank you, louise. you can imagine what a pleasure it is -- pardon? >> is this microphone working? >> can you hear me? i think someone is in the way of the camera. you can imagine what a pleasure it is for me, an advocate. to be able to ask questions of a supreme court justice. [laughter] >> however, suspect you'll hear her turn the tables on me very soon after we get started. and at the risk of repeating a couple of the things that james said about justice ginsburg. i wanted to add a word or two of my own before we start our dialogue. i don't know where the fireplace is. think it's behind --
[laughter] >> as james i'm sure felt, the toughest thing about introducing someone like justice ginsburg it's tempting to say ear their too much because she has accomplished so much and has led such a distinguished life in our society or coulter, or too little because you already know who she is and what she has done and you're here to hear from her and not frommer. -- not from me. but i can't resist the opportunity to say a couple of words about this remarkable woman, and remarkable career and a life we all admire. i understood this event sold out in an hour and 15 minutes. that's a tribute to the fact that people have such great respect for you, justice ginsburg. if i was limited to five woffords, couple of. the came up when james was introducing -- i would say pioneer you. said that. commitment, courage, passion, and to me, most of all, warrior.
and i'd like to explain that. justice ginsburg grew up in brooklyn. her older sister died when she was six. he mother struggled with cancer. throughout justice begins burg's high school years and passed away the day before her graduation. a very daunting beginning for her. she attended cornell university, was elected identify beta kappa and graduated first among the women in her class. then harvard law school, one of nine women in a class of 500. when her fellow student and husband, marty ginsburg, whom she met on a blind date, was diagnosis evidence with cancer, she attended class for both of them, took notes, type her husband's papers and cared for both him and their infant daughter. when he recovered and took a job in new york city, she transferred to columbia law school. she became the first woman to be elected two major law reviews.
columbia, and harvard. i saw the picture in the book, the rbg book, i'm going to mention in a moment. two women, not -- out of 60 on the harvard law review, and they have your picture equally balanced, the two women among all the 60 men. tied for first in her graduating class at columbia, was turned down for a united states supreme court clerkship because, by justice felix frankfurter because she was, as "the new york times" reported, because she was woman. if she was discouraged she remained undaunted. as a professor, the second woman to join the law faculty at rutgers. she founded the women's rights law reporter and chaired the women's aclu rights project. and the first tenured professor aft columbia law school where she authored a book on judicial procedure in sweden.
after mastering swedish. somewhere early in our relationship she saw the name olson and that might that might be swedish and skiffed could i speak swedish. i had to point out i was norwegian and i didn't speak swedish or norwegian. she later transferred the swedish code of civil procedure into english. now, civil procedure is tough enough. but but swedish? as an advocate for women's rights and gender equality, she changed the world. she personally argued six cases in the supreme court, winning all but one, and when a summary reversal in another case without even an argument. the cases she won started an avalanche for gender equality. justice ginsburg served for 14 years on the d.c. circuit. the second woman, after sandra
day o'connor, appointed to the supreme court. she replaced justice byron white. she is now the most senior of three female justices on the court. just a word or two more. she was diagnosed with colon can center 1999 and underwent surgery, arrestation, and chemotherapy. she missed zero days on the percentage bench inch 2005 she was congratulationsed with and underwent surgery for pancreatic surgery, 12 days after sure she was again back in court hearing argumented. her husband for over 55 years, martin g.i.burg, an internationally respected professor died in 2010. she was back in court the next day. just as he would have wanted. you'll find out today that justice ginsburg has a wicked, miss -- miss cheffous send of
humanyear and i have from person experience argued eve e over 50 cases she is as well prepared or better prepared than any jurist i have ever experience it. often the fir justice to break the ice and ask a question. those questions are penetrating, focused, and tough, and as an advocate very intime dating. so i wanted to say to the fuse words about you because i did have the opportunity to do this, and if thought we'd start off with there is about to be published or is being published -- you can telephone us the date -- >> october 4th. >> october 4th. who is paying attention, right? this beautiful book, "my own words" which has excerpts of justice ginsburg's speeches, speeches about her, some things about marty ginsburg and other things like that. it's got a beautiful cover,
beautiful pictures in it and i'm going to ask you to tell me a bit about -- tell us a little bit about the book, but first of all i have to do what james did in the other book, which is really fun, is the notorious rbg, which is a fabulous book, with all kinds of fun stuff in it and little lessons about how to be ruth bader ginsburg, if you can think about that. you are an icon. who -- what justice on the supreme court is named after a rapper? my wife, lady, pointed out on the way here that the baskin-robbins was wanting to name an ice cream -- is that -- ben and jerry's -- i get the ice cream people mixed up. will eat any of it. ben and jerry are's wanted to name an ice cream ruth bader
ginger and i heard something about a preying mantis. >> it is absolutely true. >> tell me about that. >> praying mantis named after me. >> does this praying man mantis do things other praying mantises -- >> the pictures i've seen, looks like she is wearing a collar. >> tell us about this book "in my words" in -- on my own words, tell us about how it came to be and what is in it. >> well, this book was originally planned to come out after my official biography. i have two official biographers who chose the speeches and the articles in that book. they started writing about me in
2003, and it's still a work in progress. so i say let's flip the order. let's do the articles and speeches first. this was down with my writings and introduction to each section by mary hawthorn and wendy williams, my official biographer. they came to me in 2003 and said, like it or not people are going to write about you, so you might as well select people you trust, and we volunteered that -- >> so far you still trust them? >> yes. ted, you have read some of those italicized introductions. they're very good. they're both very good. >> i saw in one of them -- i can't remember which one of the books -- the advice you got from your future mother-in-law
about marriage? >> from marty's mother, yes. the best advice i ever received. it was on my wedding day, and we were married in marty's home. his mother took me aside and said, dear issue would like to tell you the secret of a happy marriage. and the secret was, it helps sometimes to be a little deaf. and with that she handed me a pair of ear plugs, the best ear plugs. that advice i followed through 56 years of a wonderful marriage. and in every workplace, including my current job, is something thoughtless or unkind is said, then just tune out.
>> works in the supreme court, too? >> yes, it does for me. >> what is it like to be such an icon? that -- what does it moon to you that people know who you are, the notorious rbg. that's right an opera named of you and justice scalia, and all of these things -- what does that mean to you? is it awkward or do you kind of enjoy it? >> i think it's amazing. that how i -- i'm 83 and everyone wants to take a picture with me. this notorious rbg is the creation of a second year law student at nyu, now graduated. and it started when the court announced the decision in the
shelby county case, that declared unconstitutional part of the voting rights act of 1965. this student was displeased, angry, and then she said, well, i heard from someone i admire that anger, enhaveenenvy. useless emotions and don't advance anything so best do something positive and the something positive was to put my dissent in the shelby county case on the tumblr and then took off into the wild blue yonder from there. and when one of my law clerks heard about this tumblr, they said do you know who where
riourbg co do you know where you are is true into comes from? i said of course i do. victorious rbg at night were both born in new york. >> have you thought about writing and of your dissenting opinions mrap? you're a great buy for the upper and shakespearean where spending time talking about some of these things because you have a chance to ask the deeper more probing questions about the supreme court. your relationship with justice scalia have not a lot of people are mystified at that because you run somewhat opposite ends
of the ideological spectrum. you served on the d.c. circuit. he wound up often on opposite sides of cases decided by the supreme court. sometimes just tiscali wrote in such a colorful fashion would be pretty harsh in his language. and yet you were great friends. how did that happen? why were you such great read and what does that tell us about life on the court? >> our friendship should not have been surprising to people who watch the court. they would have known that just is scalia was exceedingly fond of justice brennan who is also on the opposite side in many cases. and just as raymond usually enjoyed just as scalia's company si did. he had an extraordinary ability to make me smile.
even last. when we run the d.c. circuit together, a three-judge panel, just as scalia would whisper something to me and i have everything, all it could to to avoid laughing out loud. i sometimes had to pinch myself. people sometimes say what was your favorite scalia joke? is that i know what it is but i can't tell you. [laughter] in such fine meeting of the national opera with him twice and to be prior to scalia keansburg. some of them say ginsberg is first alphabetically.
i said seniority is very important in my work place. so scalia although he was three years younger, he was appointed to the court many years before i was. that is why it is scalia ginsburg. it's a comedy opera as you would expect. it had its world premiere and castleton, virginia last summer. love its next production at the festival in cooperstown, new york. you can go to the baseball hall of fame and you could go to scalia ginsburg. i should tell you how it came to be. very talented young man with a music major, has a masters in music. and then decided it would be
useful to learn a little bit about the law. so he enrolled in his hometown law school, university of maryland. he's taken a constitutional law course and use reading these dueling opinions, scalia ginsburg. and he said this did make a very funny on prayer. i'll give you just a taste of the opening thesis. it starts out with scalia's race which goes like this. the justices are applied. the constitution says absolutely nothing about this. and then i explained to him that he is searching for a bright line. the great thing about our
constitution is that like our society, it can involve. so that is the senate. the plot is roughly based on the magic flute. just as scalia is that up in the darkroom, being punished for excessive dissenting. [laughter] i can to help them out. i enter is seen through a glass ceiling and nature in him for the last trial. we are different from the are one in their approach to the interpretation, but one in their fondness for each other in the constitution and the institution
we serve. >> could not friendship and relationship tells us so much about how we all could learn from that. our relationships with people who have different days. just as scalia was fond of saying that you made his opinions better because he would run them by you. correct me if i'm wrong. you would point out various vulnerabilities are weak and says in his opinion. he would go back and sharpen his words or try to make your participation because he turned this reviewer together on the d.c. circuit you exchanged opinions any respect your intelligence so much that he wanted to run them by you. >> i would say i was the beneficiary of that relationship more than he was. when i wrote an opinion and qlt
descents, he had every opinion of mine is much better than the first draft. he was also an excellent grammarian. sometimes he would call me whether we were on the same site or not and point out a slip i had made in grammar. sometimes i would call him and say why don't you tone it down? this is so surprising that you're going to lose your audience. you would be more kid if he would just put down the decibel level. most of the time he did not disseminate. >> i could tell by reading some of his dissenting opinions there is some difference between when you have to write for the court.
you're explaining that to me the other day. he obviously didn't temper some of the language. i'm thinking of the marriage equality case and so forth. >> you could also argue one of the 25% if he didn't win. >> so let's talk about that one. [laughter] i had forgotten about that case. they argued that case for the virginia military institute. i represented the commonwealth of virginia. everyone knows it was an all-male institution, a part of the university of virginia sysadmin is a relatively small component of this system and it was typed on an adversarial, i've received a system they called it because i'm a theory
of some young man needed to be in an all-male environment. >> to get through the ratified. >> so combat challenge was if i was the equal protection clause because women would denied the vmi. and i argued that case and it was a seven to one decision. i got one vote. >> i had six people appeared to chief concurred in the judgment, not the opinion. you captured just this scalia. he didn't need to capture him. >> my ad clicks theory was unnecessary and it didn't do any more than that. >> is just telling the story of
the aftermath of the vmi case. i had a letter from the graduate saying that in his life he had met many women who were at least as tough as it was. he had a teenage daughter and he was glad that she had the opportunity if she wanted it to attend vmi. and then i heard from him six months later. i keep the letter where he can see it every time i want to be lifted out. in the latter was some tissue paper. i open the paper and look like a toy soldier. it was a pain. the letter said this is a key given to the mother of the vmi graduate at the graduation
ceremony. my mother died last month. i think she would want you to have the keypad because in some way to the future generations of the students. [applause] incidentally i will be at vmi in february. >> that is a beautiful story. that takes us to the fact that you are such a pioneer. not every justice on the supreme court has argued cases in front of the supreme court. john roberts said they argued 39 when he was in civil practice for a long time. you were with representing the aclu.
you were one of the earliest people to bring these cases about gender equality challenging federal statutes particularly that denied equal rights to women >> were men. >> carman, that's right. love is like like arguing these cases? when we were talking the other day, it reminded me of justice thurgood marshall was at the naacp legal defense fund are good cases. you pointed out the difference but then segue into what it was like for you. >> i copied his strategy and that is he developed a lot up to brown v. board and steps. you probably remember the first case in that series than texas
realized it couldn't deny admission to law school to african-americans simply because of their race. they set up a separate law school for the period are good martial art. separate but equal is not before the court today. these schools are so plainly on the equal -- i may quote. it's not easy when people make that comparison because it's a huge difference. marshall's life was in danger when he went to a southern town to represent someone. the advocacy was a challenge, to
my life was never in danger. another difference is people understood that racial discrimination in was odious. but when i started out arguing cases to strike down arbitrary gender blog, the judge was tired. and had a hard time getting it because they thought of themselves as good has been, good fathers and they thought that women were on a pedestal. when they were sheltered, they were. justice brennan had a wonderful image. all too often the pedestal turned out to be a cage.
it protects women from achieving whatever they could based on their god-given talents. so getting judges to understand that gender discrimination was bad for the society, bad for women, bad for men and bad for society. the case in which i represented, it complained that. none of those cases where test cases. these are every day people from boise, idaho. the game by caring for disabled
people in our home. her young son was given custody of the boy when the boy was of tender years. the boy reached his teens. the father saying now displayed is to be prepared for a man's world. so he thought as the fathers become interesting again and she was unsuccessful. she was sadly right. the boy one day this is severe depression take out of his father's gun had committed suicide. sally wanted to be appointed administrator of the state. the probate court judge said i'm sorry, but this is what the idaho law says between persons equally entitled to administer
the state. males must be preferred to females. the great thing about the case is that she took it on her own dime through three levels of the idaho coors. i didn't get involved until there was an appeal to the supreme court. this is never day one man who had such faith in our legal system that it could write what she conceived to be an obvious injustice. and every one of them and the air force didn't get a housing allowance but she married -- her husband didn't have access to the medical and dental
facilities. the man whose wife died in childbirth. he was left the sole surviving parent. there are social security benefits when a child is left in the care of a sole surviving parent if she is female. not if he is male. they thought that was an obvious injustice and believe that we have daily kos is dead rude people can complain and will be heard. >> do you think the nature of those cases help to you be successful because so many cases that come before similar issues have been raised and were
essentially summarily dismissed back of the hand kind of thing. you have to change the culture as well as the law. was it the nature of this case is plus or advocacy of course? how do you think that happened? now people hear about those cases and they think of course. you'd take a big, huge change. >> i was there at the right time because men as well as women have been making the same argument as you just pointed out before society was ready to listen. whatever the case is, so there was a woman who owned a tavern.
you have to be mail alastair has been her father is the owner of an establishment. that put these two women out of work and the supreme court a bite of it, made jokes about the old air house in tulsa. today we would call her one day her husband had humiliated her to the breaking point and took her young son's baseball bat, hit them over the head, ended their argument, beginning of a murder prosecution. they didn't put women on juries. the supreme court in the 1961 and that was okay. there was one case after another
which jeopardized what struck down. but i had that happened? not because of me. because society had changed. society was moving and react to institutions and they don't lead the way. but they can perhaps accelerate the direction. it was the first case in 1971 and it was already the burger court. the whole series of cases the court saw the light. the statue into the 70s had a certain vision of the way women
are in the way men are, so the were the breadwinners. the woman's domain was at home raising children. so if you didn't set that, you're out of luck. that in the 10 years from 61 to 71, there was an enormous change in the way people were ordering their lives. i can illustrate that by comparing my children or 10 years apart. my daughter was born in 18 feet to five, just before i started law school. she was four when i graduated and there are very few working moms in her kindergarten class. 10 years later, december 1965,
two earner families were no longer unusual. there are many people in his class where both mother and father had paid jobs. so many things work in that direction. provide the income of people lived nowadays much longer than they once did. there was a time when a woman had her last child, she didn't have that much left. but now, and for many years now, where they are spending most of their adult life in a household that doesn't have any childcare responsibilities. so what are they going to do,
those empty-nesters? but where does one start yours. information was another if you want the children to go to college and be other to pay for tuition. then you need two incomes. it was by that time all over the world. some countries were ahead of others, that the united nations had declared international women's year. so love these things were working in people with the name and pattern's that were not traditional. so the core of this kind of catching up to a change that had already occurred in society.
>> i think you would agree that there is a synergistic effect here. because of these leadership, because of who you were, what you are doing and you as csu expanded the injustice of it, how it was unfair and those things take a life of their own so to speak because each thing makes it easier. the woman to be appointed to the supreme court. the second one and that the foot that has been appointed to the court. i misspoke, but i was thinking of justice o'connor. tell us a little bit about her and what it meant when in 1981 when ronald reagan appointed her as the first woman to be appointed to the supreme court,
but it was like for her and what it meant to what came along after. >> the appointment of sandra day o'connor is empowered the result of the effort of president carter. when president carter took office, he is a surrounded the federal bench, and chart. they all looked like they. that's how the united states looks. he was determined to minority groups and members, in the federal court. that in the curiosities, but the numbers. i was one of the 11 he appointed two courts of appeals.
it went back to the way it once was and left out people anymore. when reagan became president, he said not only am i going to continue to appoint women to the bench, but i would like to go down in the history books as the president who appointed the first woman to the supreme court. he made a nationwide search and became the super nominee from the sandra day o'connor. when sandra came to the court, she was all alone for 12 years. and our vacant room, there is a bathroom with old men. they decided to go back to her
chambers. the sign of the change was evident when i came to the court because they hurried up the renovation and bathroom. they installed a woman's bathroom equal in size to commence. >> now there are three women on the court and there must be a huge difference from the issues that we are talking about, that there are three and not just one person or even to. >> i think on the public perception, it is so much better when we have the children and then out of the court and they can see women all over the bench because i've been around so long
>> this happened during bush v. gore, or that the male justices work is. what is that like it or likened the? when i first argued a case in 1983, there were not very many questions and now justice thomas famously very seldom asks a question because he feels there's a lot of questions being asked by his colleagues then he has his reasons. essentially, justices asked questions all the time. what are you trying to accomplish when you are asking questions? are you trying to find something out about the strength and weakness of the advocates case who are you speaking to your colleagues? what is going on?
>> one of those is the advocate of the last chance to base the decision makers with the strongest case. the question may be the advocate has a chance to answer that. but it is talking past the advocates to each other trying to influence the way they are thinking about the case. >> some people find that strange because you are in court. you're in the same building. you could talk to your colleagues about the presence of the lawyers. does not dialogue take place prior to oral argument. >> the first of the case when we
decided it would be a discussion about. we don't often discuss cases before we go on the bench and the reason is and everyone is well-prepared for the oral argument. the first sitting is easy in this sense we are just preparing for the sydney. we have no opinions to be writing. as time goes on, the treadmill this fast or faster. and sometimes reading briefs. the very morning of the oral argument. so we had gotten our own act together early enough to talk
about the case. there are exceptions when we do, but then the conference is very close to the argument. >> within the next day or so. the conference is where you decide -- you express how you want to vote. >> yes. so it will be wednesday afternoon talking about monday and tuesday cases in friday morning about tuesday and wednesday cases to go around table strict seniority order. sometimes it's cost discussion, but at some point the chief or a justice say enough talk. it will come out in the writing and we go on to the next case.
>> i would like to keep asking questions, but james will be angry with me. we know that those of you out there have questions. i want to thank you for at least my part of this thing. it's been a pleasure for me. >> there is a microphone here. if you've got a question, obviously it goes without saying, but no questions about pending cases that are before the court. so if there are any questions, please come forward. don't be shy. we satisfied this time for you. >> justice ginsburg, thank you for being here. you talked about the evolution of society.
i do question for some of us in the doldrums to be about this course in society and kind of looking at where the world is right now. do you have anything helpful for us looking forward? especially to november. >> when i visit university campuses, i'm very hopeful. i was just visiting the day before at notre dame. it was a huge audience. all of the young people and that were very determined that they were going to work for days and do something for the larger society. something outside themselves, something to repair our system.
i see it in my own granddaughter and very much indeed and societal problems. so i am an optimist about the future. >> thank you, your honor. >> justice ginsburg, thank you for making their appearance. it's an honor to have you. we have going come of anything. my wife was born and raised in brooklyn and also my name is chris wallace. if you did know, the birth name of the notorious ginsburg is chris wallace. but my question is whether there is one opinion where you were on business and that you are
particularly ashamed of or disappointed with that really sticks out to you. >> of my dissent? [laughter] >> ashamed of how the majority came out. >> i would say disappointed. as i said before, i was disappointed in bush v. gore and citizens united in shelby county. the lily that either case, not as disappointed as in constitutional cases because i was convinced the court had read title vii wrong. and there was someone else who could fix it. the last line of the ledbetter case was the law is that when congress is to correct the error
to which colleagues have fall in. the lilly ledbetter act was the first piece of legislation that president obama signed when he took office. >> thank you. >> thank you for coming today, just as ginsburg. i was hoping you might share it by some of your thoughts because i know you're an advocate for access to just assembler his role in public interest work. maybe you would share with us about your thoughts on access to justice issues that confront not only the profession that obviously society at-large. >> obviously? >> society at-large as well. >> law is a privilege.
because that is so, lawyers have an obligation to give back, to contribute to society. i tell a law student that you get a good paying job and an offer and then you're like a plumber. you have a scale that you use. if you're a true professional, you would do some thing as i said before to give back to the community. i think community service is tremendously important. i've thought about if i were a
cap. after high school so everyone would be involved to do some kind of public service in the military are you help teach in a public school. i think that would be good for society if we instilled in young people is service to the community at an early age. >> thank you. >> just as ginsburg, and a 20 year part -- and are in and of the federal courts and it's a great honor to be here today. i do have a confession with the shelby county case.
[inaudible] 's >> yes, ma'am. at the question of the shelby county case. that the lower south alabama for many years it was very disappointed with the decision as i thought it ended the second reconstruction of the south. i was curious what you thought the impact of shelby county and future civil rights legislation or existing civil rights litigation. >> you read the newspapers and see what is ongoing. the preclearance process is no more, that there have been a number of cases under section two of the voting rights act. some of the bar before the court at this very moment so i don't
want to say any more about them except they've been in the headlines as well. hope it's not on. there is still a mechanism. question two is a harder one. but as they said, i am optimistic. i wouldn't predict that congress will change the formula for what jurisdictions are in food aid because i can't imagine a senator or representative standing up in congress and saying my county is
discriminating. >> maybe we better leave it at that. >> just as ginsburg commit to the mac so much for coming here. when you started with your remarks come you mention the constitution but also spoke about how principles and things can change. often times when people talk about the constitution, it's almost in a biblical sense. unlike a religious document, the constitution can be amended, but it hasn't been for almost 50 years. do you think the failure to amend the constitution or the fact that it hasn't been amended so long as that risk to the constitutional system? >> do i think this series -- >> is it a risk to the constitutional system that has been made so hard to amend the constitution is very seldom has been amended. it's been quite a while.
>> think of some of the state constitutions that are easy to amend and that go on and on and on. i think the framers of the constitution made the amendment process difficult for that reason. they've made it hard to change. of course i am disappointed. i still am is a strong proponent of the equal rights amendment of speed and ratified. even so, you would ask me when the equal rights amendment went down we are glad we don't have a
constitution that begins. when you think of some of the amendment, every time the supreme court right to have many people don't write, somebody proposes a constitutional amendment. let's have prayer in the schools. so on the whole because they see the risk of things that i would like put in the constitution. i think it's good our constitution is not easily amended. >> i will take these questions and then we will wrap up. >> just as ginsburg, thank you. just as ginsburg is the father of four daughters. i went to thank you on your work
on behalf of women's rights for my daughter's been allowed to pursue things they want to do and are passionate about instead of things people think they ought to do. my question is for both of you come to either of you. i have been teaching law to engineers at the university of maryland for a number of years. over the years the demographics have changed a great number of student art fire. [inaudible] >> is hard to hear. >> we were out one microphone. [inaudible] i've been teaching at the university --
[inaudible] -- fundamental legal structure first so they could understand it in our con taxed. with that background, do you have any recommendations on how to teach these students want in america and the fundamentals of it and recommendations on reading. >> i think we all appreciate even though among nations of the world, the united states is not particularly old. we have the longest surviving cause to two should still in force in the world. as an old joke about the french
constitution and someone goes into a bookshop in the days when there were bookshops and request a copy of the french constitution. the shopkeeper says we are going to deal in periodical literature. [laughter] .that our way is superior, but it's different. the system of government compared to parliament recipients in most of the world that our constitution is not aspirational for the a lot to be here and now. many constitutions have magnificent guaranteed a right to work, the right not to be hungry. but how does the court enforce
such rights? what is in this constitution is law, the highest law that you applied. so maybe it would help them be educational to the other students to ask these students and what is the constitution in their system? who has the last word on whether legislation is constitutional. just the thing our very first supreme court did that justice marshall developed. judicial reviews for constitutionality. it didn't exist in the world and the rare exceptions until after
world war ii. our system is unique. one idea i have for you is to compare this list of what the difference from the united states. >> thank you. >> not injustice, thank you for spending time with us today. i'm particularly interested in your view of how the in-house counsel role has evolved over the last 10 or 20 years and where it should like to see it go? >> perhaps ted would be a better person to comment on that. what i observed as enrollments grow and the role and the size
of in-house counsel. >> and responsibilities as opposed to outside lawyers. >> yeah, he used to be small staff. almost all of us found out to a law firm. i've been heartened to see the participation of in-house counsel in pro bono work. and this time, the pro bono institute has a number of firms, the highest council has been told in getting the younger staff to engage in pro bono representation. >> thank you.
>> just as ginsburg, thank you for everything you've done to its equal rights for men and women. do you have any advice for us on how they can best carry on the legacy and continue to fight the good fight for equal rights for every human being. >> the easy job is the explicit gender lines in the law. almost all of them are god. what is left is unconscious bias. my favorite example of that -- [inaudible] people in the music world thought they could tell the difference between a win and play admin. they did the blindfold test.
he was all confused. he got it wrong as often as he got it right. so then somebody came up with a brilliant idea, let's drop the curtain. so that the people who are doing the selecting won't know who is behind that curtain. there was an almost overnight change in the symphony all over the country. women began to appear in numbers. unfortunately, we can't duplicate that in every endeavor. i think back to one title vii case in which i had summoned all of mint in the 70s. it was at&t for disproportionately reject and women from the middle management job. the women that saw the standard criteria as well as the men.
the last step was what they called a total person test. it is meeting with the candidate and at that stage but then dropped out disproportionately. not because the interviewer is consciously biased against women but there's a natural rapport. someone is different. you're kind of income to vote. and that may be reflected in your choice who will be promoted. not consciously. and of course the young women
who say there's no discrimination anymore. what are you going to do with children come? i work less and home life. i once thought that would be easy with technology. but the firms does seem to be moving that fast to be flexible men and women who are in law for the in-house counsel should get together with each other as they went to live on and then make it go been illustrated by your example that you can have a home
life and the work life. one of my former law clerks have three children. she had a three day schedule at the firm and they are just delighted with her work. she has little library at her fingertips at home. it should be much easier to have a balanced life than it once was. don't be shy about speaking out. have company when you do so so that you are not involve voice -- a lone voice. >> thank you. [applause]
alberto gonzales discusses his time as attorney general during the george w. bush administration. his new book is called "true faith and allegiance: a story of service and sacrifice in water and peace." and he is interviewed by brent kendall of "the wall street journal." >> host: alberto gonzales, currently in law school dean, former attorney general and counsel to george w. bush. texas state supreme court justice and the author of a new book, a memoir recounting his life both in texas and working for governor bush. here in washington. welcome. >> thank you. good to be here. >> let's start with why the boat, why now. what motivated you to write it? i know many of your colleagues have written books about their time there. what prompted the book? >> guest: you know, something i've been working on for